Friday, February 4, 2011

Bernanke: U.S. Economic Recovery Still Needs Federal Reserve’s Help

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Thursday that despite recent signs of improvement in the U.S. economy, the recovery still needs help from the Fed.  After prepared remarks delivered to the National Press Club, the Fed chairman answered questions from reporters in a rare Q&A session.”The economy, though it does look to be growing more quickly, is still in a deep hole, is still very far from where we’d like to be, and we need to manage policy,” Bernanke said in response to a question. – CNBC

ECB Notwotny retracts inflation remark

In a German newspaper yesterday, ECB Notwotny had implied that the ECB inflation projection was 1.8%. This was above the ECB last projection of 1.5%, it is still below the 2.0% threshold the ECB likes to maintain. The problem is the forecast is not to be released for another month.  CPI inflation is currently above that level at 2.4%.  This gives more credence to the more calming remarks from Jean Claude Trichet after their interest rate meeting, but it let the proverbial cat out of the bag.
However, Notwotny is now retracting the comment saying that the 1.8% prediction is not that of the ECB.


I love this guy! Probably the best thing to come out of Florida in a long, long, time.

In a letter sent today to Rep. Allen West, R-Fort Lauderdale, national religious leaders called on West to apologize for saying that Muslim congressman Keith Ellison represents the “antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established.”
The letter — signed by the Interfaith Alliance’s Welton Gaddy, the Rabbinical Assembly’s Jack Moline, the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism’s David Saperstein and the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty’s J. Brent Walker — chastises West for his comments about Ellison, and also criticizes his “tendency to offer intemperate comments about Islam”:
In a recent interview with the “Shalom Show,” you underscored that your mission is to represent and uphold the values of your constituents; this is an unquestionably noble goal. However, your subsequent statement that Representative Keith Ellison, one of your colleagues in the House of Representatives, is the “antithesis of the principles on which this country was established” because he is Muslim, shows a frightening lack of understanding for these values. Regardless of the specific “principles” you intended to reference, it is an indisputable fact that one of those principles is religious freedom for all, memorialized in the United States Constitution—including, of course, Article VI’s prohibition on any religious test for public office. Your remarks disrespect not only your Muslim colleagues in the Congress, but also all of your constituents of the Muslim faith. This is neither appropriate, nor true to the American values that you reference.
Regrettably, this is just the latest example of your tendency to offer intemperate comments about Islam. At a town hall meeting during your campaign, you characterized Islam as America’s enemy and asserted, “Islam is a totalitarian, theocratic political ideology; it is not a religion.” Such untrue and inflammatory remarks intensify an unsettling trend of anti-Muslim rhetoric and fear in our country. They are also likely to confuse your constituents as to the differences between radical, Islamic extremists and non-violent adherents to Islam. Many peaceable Muslims live in your district and two serve alongside you in the House of Representatives. At a time when Islamophobia is on the rise, it is the responsibility of our elected officials to promote dialogue, understanding and civility in the public forum.
Although your laudable decision to offer yourself for public service in no way disqualifies you from discussing your own faith, we urge you not to use the prestige of your position in the U.S. House of Representatives to proselytize for one religion or demonize another. Rather, we hope that you will seek opportunities to uphold the religious freedom of all of your colleagues and constituents, including Muslims, to believe in or to reject any religious faith, as they choose. This freedom is an integral part of American democracy and promised by the First Amendment to our Constitution. We also hope that you will issue an apology, not only to Representative Ellison, but to the Muslim citizens of your district.
West has responded to Gaddy, Moline, Saperstein and Walker’s letter.
“I am neither anti-Muslim nor anti-Islam,” West writes them in response. “I respect every religion, and the Constitutionally-protected right to practice that faith in a peaceful manner.”
Attempting to explain his comments about Rep. Ellison, West states that he is concerned with the “radical jihadist movement” within Islam, and accuses the Council on American-Islamic Relations of being one of a few American groups “that masquerade as more peaceful moderates” while supporting that movement.
“My comments in regards to my colleague, Representative Keith Ellison, are not about his Islamic faith, but about his continued support of CAIR,” West writes, a point the congressman was unclear about when making his original controversial statement.


Scoop: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Explains How It Will Get Rid of Peace Treaty with Israel

By Barry Rubin

We have been repeatedly assured in the media--on the basis of no evidence--that if the Muslim Brotherhood comes to power in a coalition or even directly that the radical Islamist group would keep the peace treaty with Israel.

On Russian television, one Brotherhood leader, Rashad al-Bayoumi,  said that when they came to power they will abolish the treaty altogether.

Another, former spokesman Doctor Kamel Helbaoui, explains one way they might get out of it. It is also a good example of how they avoid embarassing questions, and usually get away with it. Clearly, Brotherhood leaders have been warned to avoid extremist statements as it tries to sell itself to the Western audience and (insert adjective) media as moderate and cuddly.

In an interview on French television, he says (1:40-2:12 on the show):

Interviewer: "And would you revoke the peace treaty with Israel?"
Answer: "We respect all protocols and the treaties built on justice.
Interviewer: "Sorry, I didn't understand your response."
Answer: "We respect every treaty and every protocol for peace, but it should be built on justice.
Interviewer: "Does that mean you would keep the peace treaty with Israel?
Answer: "You keep it, but you have to review it in [unclear] of the atrocities from either side."
Interviewer: "What do you mean by that?"
Answer: "I mean that we don't need injustice to reach the people. If the peace treaty does not give the people their rights, it is not a good treaty, is not a good peace accord."
Interviewer: "So are you saying that the current peace treaty is not good enough?"
Answer: "No, it is not good enough. I must say that."
Interviewer: "So you would revoke that peace treaty.
Answer: "No, I didn't say that.
Interviewer: You would change it?
Answer: It could be reviewed in view of respect of human rights. And through the United Nations, through freedom given to the people, respect of every one. Not occupation and the military atrocities against civilians."

So while trying to avoid admitting it, he explains that Egypt would demand changes and not accept the existing treaty. But what you also have to know--and most journalists would miss--is that the Muslim Brotherhood regards Israel's existence as "occupation" and the denial of Muslim rights.

Paradoxically, then, the only way Israel could have a peace treaty with Egypt is not to exist at all.

Other Brotherhood spokesmen have said that if the group comes to power there will be a referendum on the treaty, and of course it will be rejected. This has been said many times in Arabic though the Western media seem completely unaware of it, as with many other things about the Brotherhood.

You have to understand the bizarre situation here. Every speech in Arabic of Brotherhood leaders and cadre and articles in their publications are full of anti-Jewish hatred, anti-American hatred, and support for violence. Yet in the Western media all of this simply is never mentioned, in part because reporters take the group's word on its credentials.

In other words, the Brotherhood will end the peace with Israel and return to a state of war.

This would not necessarily mean going to war, since Egypt's army might well be unwilling to do so, considering the consequences and not liking the Brotherhood. In contrast, though, it is easy to make Egypt into a safe haven from which terrorists could attack across the border and any weapons Hamas wanted would come from Egyptian arsenals (or if the army blocked that, just be freely imported into the Gaza Strip.

Eventually, this would lead to renewed war between Israel and Hamas, or even Israel and Egypt, in which thousands of people would die. Some would call that speculation. I would prefer that they didn't get to see it proven to be accurate. 

Good Grief: Cops Charge 7-Year-Old for Bringing Toy Gun to Class

A friend of mine that's a generation older than me tells me of his time in public schools when he would bring his shotgun into class for show and tell on how to clean a gun. He and the bus driver would go hunting together here in the Rochester area. Those were the good 'ol days, and they are no more. Especially since liberals have taken over the public schools like a cancer. These days, you get arrested for bringing in a TOY gun to school. From NBC Philadelphia:

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From the accompanying article:

A WMB only to a moron

A 7-year-old child allegedly shot a Nerf-style toy gun in his Hammonton, N.J., school Jan. 18. No one was hurt, but the pint-size softshooter now faces misdemeanor criminal charges.

Hammonton Police began an investigation into the “suspicious activity” at the Hammonton Early Childhood Education Center Jan. 18 after school officials alerted them to the incident.

The "gun" the child brought to school was a $5 toy gun, similar to a Nerf gun, that shoots soft ping pong type balls, according to the school's superintendent.

Officials also say that there was no evidence of anyone being threatened. The child's mother told school officials that she didn't know her son brought the toy to school.

Dr. Dan Blachford, the Hammonton Board of Education superintendent, said the school has a zero tolerance policy.

"We are just very vigilant and we feel that if we draw a very strict line then we have much less worry about someone bringing in something dangerous," said Blachford.
Their zero-tolerance policy is to keep brains out of the public schools as that is the only thing that's actually banned. Meanwhile, here in the Detroit area, a school district allows Sikh students to wear 5-inch KNIFE to school, while American kids are suspended for bringing paring tool, making gun with their finger. Last March, news like this hit close to home: Michigan kindergartner suspended for making gun with hand. And more recently a couple of states over: Good Grief: First-Grader Suspended for Making Gun With Finger. The kid with the nerf gun should have simply claimed it was a religious item and he's from Asia, which are magic words for moonbats in public ed to let through whatever in the name of multiculturalism.

Obama administration offers states ideas on how to cut Medicaid

The L.A. Times reports:
Facing a revolt from states confronted by huge budget shortfalls and tattered healthcare safety nets, the Obama administration is intensifying a drive to help state leaders wring savings from their Medicaid programs.

On Thursday, in a move that reflected both the changing political landscape and the still-troubled economy, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent a letter to governors suggesting a range of cuts, including removal of some people from the program.
Great moments in socialized medicine!